Published Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 8:01am
In July of 2020, the Maricopa County Community Colleges District decided to move Fall sports seasons (except cross-country) to January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In early September I tasked an ad hoc committee composed of three college presidents, two vice presidents, two athletic directors, and two athletic trainers, to provide a recommendation to me by November 25 as to the possibility of returning to play for all athletic teams in January 2021. This committee also consulted with the Executive Director of Public Health for Maricopa County, Dr. Marcy Flanagan, and MCCCD Legal and Risk Management.
The ad hoc committee has evaluated the COVID-19 impact and analyzed COVID data from local and national health authorities as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association’s guidelines. The committee also met with others in the District, the county, and nationally, to review safety measures and precautions and ultimately drafted Return to Play guidelines.
Based on their extensive research and conversations with stakeholders, I support the committee’s recommendation that allows MCCCD athletic teams to hold practices and NJCAA competitions beginning January 4, 2021. As we move forward with our athletic programs, a Return to Play (RTP) document has been created by the ad hoc committee in consultation with MCCCD Athletics Trainers, Athletic Directors, Risk Management, Maricopa County Public Health Officials, District Legal. This document will guide our actions and contains strategies for prevention, education, symptom screening, risk mitigation, travel, practice/competition guidelines, and other resources and tools available to all athletic employees and students. The RTP is not all-encompassing and will be fluid as we move through any new developments and findings with the pandemic. The RTP is not optional. All faculty, staff, and students involved with our athletic programs must adhere to the protocols and strictly follow the RTP.
This decision may be overturned or adjusted at any time based on guidance and directives from the city, county, state agencies, or the NJCAA.
Our students, faculty, staff, and community's well-being and health remain our highest priority. We take every concern very seriously and we will continue to adjust our decisions to maintain our community’s safety during this time. As we monitor the fluidity of COVID-19, we will continue to communicate should further modifications be necessary. Please visit our newly developed webpage dedicated to athletics here: www.maricopa.edu/athletics.
Thank you for all that you do, and please continue to stay healthy and safe.